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Message From Pastor Gorden

posted Oct 25, 2016, 9:40 AM by Tracey Morris

“Gratitude, the Cornerstone of Generosity”

Each year in November we take time to highlight a “stewardship” theme. Stewardship is simply our caring for all the blessings God wishes to send our way each day. This year our theme is “Gratitude, the Cornerstone of Generosity.” We are simply managers of all God’s blessings because we own nothing; it is all God’s to let us share. How gracious we are with our time, talent and treasure is how successful we will be at creating a spirit of generosity. This spirit can become infectious.


On Sunday November 6, All Saints Sunday we will show our gratitude for those who followed the call to start a church in Hanover, MN. On June 7, 1900 a group of sixteen concerned, faithful people gathered to organize a Lutheran congregation. On July 22 of that year deeds for the church property and cemetery were signed and a new church was born. This happened because people felt a sense of gratitude for the life they had in this country and with hearts of generosity they forged ahead in creating a thriving congregation.  We give thanks for those charter members of St. Paul’s.

“Now, our God, we give thanks, and praise your glorious name. But who am I, and   who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand.”               

 (2 Chronicles 29:13-14)


This year we are privileged to welcome the Service Coordinator of Lutheran Congregations In Mission For Christ (LCMC), Mark Vander Tuig. My heart is filled with gratitude for Mark’s willingness to spend the whole weekend us. He will be our guest preacher for Sunday, November 13. He is a dynamic speaker and will help us focus our attention on establishing a heart of gratitude. As he shares with us this cornerstone of giving it will become clear how generosity flows. Mark has been around the world preaching the good news to everyday sinners like you and me. He knows clearly why we encourage one another to be grateful and thankful. Mark will also be with us for our Appreciation Luncheon following the worship services. We create a spirit of generosity because of the love we have for our Lord Jesus. Here is one of Mark’s favorite verses.

“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed; do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 4:17)


I would like to think we could raise the bar of gratitude in our church. In my mind this spirit starts as we assess our relationship to Jesus and whether or not we have a heart of thankfulness.  In order to create a spirit of generosity we must be thankful in season and out of season. This means we give thanks to God when the blessings come our way or when tragedy or hard times befall us. Sharing gratitude for the grace you have received will change your whole perspective on life.


Rick Warren speaks of this when he talks about creating an “Attitude of Radical Gratitude.” The Iversen family has experienced this radical gratitude in a monumental way. Keegan was in a tragic motorcycle accident last October and is now in a wheelchair being cared for at his mother’s home. Amy, his wife and Kerry, his mother are his 24/7 caregivers. Amy posted one night about this radical gratitude, “you can’t look at what is lost but focus on what is left.” They are living proof that “The Attitude of Radical Gratitude” does in fact happen even when awful things happen. You cannot experience this gracious spirit without having grounded yourself in a faith that can move mountains. As a family their faith has grown in exponential ways.

“Sink your roots in him and build on him. Be strengthened by the faith that you were taught, and overflow with thanksgiving.”

(Colossians 2:7)


At St. Paul’s we have so much for which to be thankful. We have been blessed in unbelievable ways. Let’s join together as a church family and create an attitude of Radical Gratitude. With grateful and thankful hearts, generosity will flow like a river. Please join us for a special weekend of worship and fellowship on November 13. You will not be disappointed.


A friend in Christ,

Pastor Gordon